Echinacea GP - Clinical Trials

I Product Info I Ingredients I Recommended Use I Clinical Trials I Research Brief I References

echinaceal

 

Indication: first aid against a common cold, decreased immune response, frequent common colds, flu epidemic.

Actions: increases the body’s natural defense, has anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant, standardized extract guarantees efficacy.

Ingredients (per 1 capsule):

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) 5:1 extract (aerial parts) (4% polyphenolic compounds) (equivalent to 1250 mg of crude herb) - 250 mg, rutin – 25 mg.

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Echinacea GP - Clinical Trials:

In double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 80 individuals with early cold symptoms were given either an above-ground Echinacea purpurea extract or placebo. The results showed that individuals who were given echinacea recovered significantly more quickly: just 6 days in the echinacea group versus 9 days in the placebo group. (7)

 

Double-blind, mono-centric, placebo-controlled clinical study examined the immunostimulating influence of an expressed fresh juice E. purpurea(8) preparation on the course and severity of colds and flu-like symptoms with patients deemed to have greater susceptibility to infections (as predetermined by T-cell ratios in the blood). A total of 108 patients (54 control; 54 treatment) were evaluated over an eight-week period. They received a dose of 2-4 ml/day. Compared with the placebo group, the treatment group had a decrease in frequency of infections, an increase in length of interval between infections, a reduction in the average duration of colds, and less severe symptoms. The study shows that patients with diminished immune response (expressed by a low T4/T8 cell ratio) could benefit from preventative treatment to cold and flu infections with the echinacea preparation.

 

In this randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study on a standardized echinacea preparation 282 healthy subjects aged 18-65 years with a history of 2 or more colds in the previous year received either echinacea or placebo. They were instructed to start the echinacea or placebo at the onset of the first symptom related to a cold, consuming 10 doses the first day and 4 doses per day on subsequent days for 7 days. The severity of the symptoms and dosing were recorded daily, and a nurse examined the subjects on the mornings of days 3 and 8 of their cold.

One hundred twenty eight of the subjects got a common cold; 59 took echinacea and 69 took a placebo. The total daily symptom scores were found to be 23.1% lower in the echinacea group, and throughout the treatment period, the response rate to treatments was greater in the echinacea group. The researchers concluded that early intervention with a standardized formulation of echinacea resulted in reduced symptom severity in subjects with naturally acquired upper respiratory tract infection. (9)

 

One recent study found that daily consumption of echinacea is prophylactic, extending the life span of aging mice and mice with leukemia. The researchers add that, "Given that humans are 97% genetically common with mice and that virtually all our basic physiology is identical, it is neither unjustified to extrapolate these observations to humans nor would it be an arduous task to perform many of these studies in humans, thus establishing viable scientific evidence replacing the anecdotal." (10)

 

Researchers at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, investigated the value of taking echinacea intermittently, continuously, or only at the beginning of an illness. All the mice that received a daily dose of echinacea, throughout life, were still alive at seven months, as opposed to the control mice, of which 79% were still alive.
At approximately 13 months of age, the mice that consumed an untreated diet had a 46% survival rate while those consuming echinacea, had a 74% survival rate. Additionally, the key immune cells—natural killer (NK) cells—were significantly elevated in both the bone marrow production site, as well as in the spleen—the major organ to which they traffic and function. The researchers concluded that it appears that regular intake of echinacea may indeed be beneficial/prophylactic, if only for the reason that it maintains an elevated level of NK cells, the most important defense against tumors, a phenomenon which increases in frequency with progressive aging. (11)

 

The anti-inflammatory properties of Echinacea have proven useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. In one study, fifteen drops of E. purpurea extract three times a day reduced inflamation by 21.8%. While this decrease is approximately half of that associated with cortisone or prednisone, no side effects were noted as observed in the steroids.

 

Braunig et al. (1992) in a double-blind placebo-controlled study with 180 volunteers studied the effect of an E. purpurea root ethanol extract in relieving the symptoms and duration of flu-like symptoms. Compared with the placebo control group, volunteers who received 900 mg/dose (equivalent to about 4 droppers full) exhibited statistically significant improvement compared with the placebo.

 

Echinacea may become a useful adjunct to cancer treatment. Depression of white blood cell levels during both radiation and chemotherapy may be treated using Echinacea. A study involving fifty-five radiation therapy patients revealed that 85% of those who were treated with E. purpurea simultaneously showed a stable white blood cell count while those without Echinacea showed a steady decline.